This chapter describes how animation has become big business and an increasingly fashionable field for study due to the growth of CGI effects in feature films, the proliferation of digital animation production companies, the appearance of an international array of broadcast and cable-delivered animation programs, and the full growth of the computer game industry. This is based on the fact that animation is not only essential to the realms of visual entertainment, advertising, and instruction, but also because it suggests the very real possibility of a paradigm shift in visually based media, as it promises to replace or radically alter components of these realms that people have come to take for granted.
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